Beers of Auckland Advent Calendar 2014
DAY 21 – 2014 Epicurean Coffee & Fig Stout by Epic Brewing Company
BOTTLE: Coffee & Fig Stout 2014
BREWED: Steam Brewing Company
COFFEE: Columbian Excelso (roasted by L’affare)
Today I started to get a little Christmas feel going on. Maybe a chance to start feeling relaxed and knowing that the next couple of weeks will be a holiday.
The festiveness lead to opening a bottle of Coffee & Fig stout 2014 for desert.
On the aroma the coffee is still very dominate. With big coffee, and some mocha, and chocolate, but also a greenness, like green coffee beans and capsicum.
The flavour is also dominated by coffee, but also the roast barley and other dark malts contribute. The bitterness is pretty punchy right now, but not over the top. As it warms the fullness and maltness comes out and balances the bitterness. (so don’t drink it too cold, maybe 30 minutes in the fridge). The 8.0% alcohol gives a warming character and also a sweetness.
This years vintage is made with Columbian Excelso coffee beans, and the figs were added whole to the kettle. Each year a different coffee variety from a different country is used and the figs are handled in a slightly different way.
This is the fourth year for Coffee & Fig Stout. It was first made as a media brew for Beervana in 2011, with Kelly Ryan (who was employed by Epic at the time) and Victoria Wells (who was the editor of DISH magazine at the time). This beer won the media brew that year.
Quick notes from a recent vertical tasting of all four vintages.
2014 – as above
2013 – coffee still obvious but doesn’t dominate like when young
2012 – more mocha and chocolate
2011 – figs are coming of age now, and really fruit cakey
The beer has been designed to be able to put it in your cellar and give it some age. If you see it you should probably buy three bottles. One for now and a couple for the cellar.